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Fiber to fiber, wool has some natural properties which make it superior to cotton. It drapes better, it resists odors, and it naturally wicks moisture away from the body. If you’ve ever noticed, wool sweaters don’t have to be washed as often as cotton sweatshirts, as it stays looking and smelling clean. This means you can wear wool garments multiple times before laundering.
Proper Cloth has channeled these properties into their line of Reda merino wool shirts. They’re naturally wrinkle-resistant without chemical treatments of any kind, which allows you to look sharp and professional for those unannounced Zoom meetings. Wool is also a natural temperature regulator because the fibers are hollow on the inside. This provides insulation that keeps you warm in the winter and breathability that keeps you cool in the summer, so you wear these lightweight shirts year-round. Wool shirts bridge the gap between traditional cotton button-ups and performance workout attire. Proper Cloth has them in various colors and patterns, from the sharply professional light blue to something a little more casual, such as dark grey, slate blue, and taupe-colored checks. A styling trick: a slightly darker blue shirt can be an excellent way to dress down and visually anchor a casual suit or sport coat. When you don’t wear a tie, a slightly darker colored shirt, in a more traditional color such as blue, can visually fill the space below your neck where a tie would normally occupy.
Born in Iran and raised in Sweden, Navid Mokhberi, who’s now based in California, has always loved the simplicity of Scandinavian design. So when he set out to start his new leather goods company, MCKNGBRD, he teamed with Danish designer Sebastian Holmbäck and luxury accessories designer Jocelyn Mason. The company’s leather cases are tough, elegant, and expertly produced by experienced craftsmen at a small Los Angeles factory.
On their website, you can see their leather cases, which are designed to house and protect laptops and iPads. They’re made from a variety of Italian leathers: waxed and tumbled Nappa leathers, a scratch-resistant Saffino, supple Italian nubuck, among others. A quiet magnetic button makes for a seamless opening and closure, allowing you to access your items easily while ensuring your electronics don’t accidentally slide out.
The company’s name MCKNGBRD refers to two things. The first is the versatility of these cases, which are elegant but also hardwearing. Their clean, simple lines allow them to look at home in boardrooms or classrooms, much like the resourceful mockingbird’s unique ability to mimic the sounds of its environment. More importantly, the name also refers to Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, where the hero Atticus Finch fights for criminal justice. MCKNGBRD contributes a portion of every sale to The Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization fighting to overturn wrongful convictions through the use of DNA testing. “This company has opened up new channels for me to help my community,” Mokhberi told us in an email. “I’m a strong advocate of doing as much as I can locally. That means working with local talent and building our product in Los Angeles.”
If you’re looking to spruce up a fall wardrobe, Chipp’s ancient madder ties can be worn with flannel suits, corduroy sport coats, and of course, tweed (nothing badder than tweed with madder). Paul Winston over at Chipp once told me the chalky, dusty hand of ancient madder reminds him of a horse’s wet nose. I’ve always thought it was a charming description.
The term madder refers to two things. The first is the rich-red, vegetable dye that’s derived from the Eurasian plant Rubia tinctoria. It was used to dye regal clothes in ancient times, which Bruce Boyer says is how we get the “ancient” part of ancient madder. Then we have “madder style,” which is an old printing method that involves using thickened mordants, drying, aging, dunging, and dyeing with alizarine (the coloring agent obtained from madder root). I’ve never known whether madder in silks refers to the first or the second, but for what it’s worth, not all madder ties contain red.
In any case, the nice thing about madder ties is that they sit in the middle in terms of formality – just as good with tweed and corduroy jackets as they are with worsted suits and pinstripes. Chipp’s are made in New York City from the same English silks used by top-tier neckwear producers, but theirs are just $75 (almost a third of what some of their competitors charge). Paisley is perhaps the most classic option, while the small geometric foulards are better with suits and than sport coats. Take the diamond motif if you want something a little updated.
The Kentucky Derby is almost always held on the first Saturday in May. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s been moved to next weekend, September 5th. To protect attendees, organizers have reduced seating to a maximum of 40% occupancy and mandated temperature checks, medical screenings, physical distancing, and face coverings. There will also be no general admission this year, and attendance will be limited to less than 14% of the record 170,513 set in 2015.
For those who can attend, the Kentucky Derby promises to be a fun time and a welcome break from life at home. Those who aren’t able to attend can watch the event online through a live stream. Either way, Dapper Classics has some accessories to make your time feel more festive. Until the end of today, you can take 20% off their Derby Collection by using the promo code DERBY. The collection includes colorful socks with jockey and mint julep cup motifs, floral neckties, pastel-colored accessories to complement your seersucker attire. As with everything Dapper Classics sells, these are entirely made in America, which feels fitting given that they’re meant to be worn for one of America’s most famous pastimes.
Every Thursday, our sponsor LuxeSwap throws up hundreds of new auctions on eBay. They last for ten days, which means the gavel sounds two Sundays later. Matthew at LuxeSwap is a seasoned vintage hunter and knows a ton about quality clothing. Since he only puts up quality items, it can take a while to wade through all his auctions every week. If you’re looking for a shortcut, here’s a hint: search “#1 MENSWEAR.” That will pull up the best-of-the-best.
This week, he has a Gant Rugger madras shirt, Drake’s brushed Shetland sweater, brown Inis Meain fisherman sweater, some Alden shell cordovan boots, and a pair of Eidos indigo seersucker trousers. For a fall outfit, you can team this navy cashmere Ralph Lauren turtleneck with a light blue Brooks Brothers button-down, a pair of green Sid Mashburn five-pocket cords, and some Alden Indy boots. These tan Armoury chinos and blue linen NN07 t-shirt could also make for a comfy work-from-home outfit.